Marilyn Monroe's stuffing recipe recently surfaced in "Fragments"(Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), a collection of her writing snippets from 1943 to her death in 1962. Marilyn's stuffing recipe showcases not only a knowledge of cooking, but also a surprising use of European methods for making a poultry dressing. I couldn't resist taking a closer look to adapt and recreate it via French cuisine. Here's what Marilyn Monroe's stuffing recipe might have looked like had she been a housewife in 1950's France.
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yield: 10 cups of stuffing
- 6 ounces pain au levian (sourdough)
- 1/4 pound chicken livers
- 1/4 pound ground sirloin
- 1 cup mirepoix
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 cup chopped, fresh parsley
- 1 hard-boiled egg, chopped
- 1/2 cup raisins (substitute any dried fruits)
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 2/3 cup cooked chestnuts, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon marjoram
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
How to make 1950's-style French stuffing:
Soak the pain au levian in water for 15 minutes. Drain the bread in a colander for 5 minutes and squeeze it dry. Pull it apart into small pieces.
While the bread is soaking and draining, prepare the livers and ground beef. Boil the livers for 8 to 10 minutes, until they are done. Finely chop the cooked livers. Brown the ground beef in a large skillet, and transfer the meat to a bowl.
Sauté the mirepoix and bay leaves in the remaining beef fat for 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and stir together the shredded bread, cooked livers, browned beef, sautéed mirepoix, parsley, eggs, raisins, cheese, chestnuts, salt, pepper, and dried herbs.
Marilyn's stuffing recipe makes approximately 10 cups.